2018/19 – Ayr Drinking Water Water (Queensland) – PFAS, PFHxS, PFOS

Ayr (Queensland) – PFAS

2018/19: Ayr (Queensland) October 2018/February 2019

1Notifiable Incidents details:

(i) Combined PFHxS/PFOS – Reported 12 October 2018 Ayr Water Tower – 0.084 ug/L

Council Chambers Tap – 0.77 ug/L

Samples taken in the Ayr Water Supply Network on 27 September 2018 resulted in the above detections of combined PFHxS/PFOS.

Investigations found this to be as a result of bores 2 and 5 Nelsons Lagoon.

These two bores as well as Bore 3 Nelsons Lagoon, have since been taken offline permanently.

Follow up samples were taken on 16 October 2018 with the following results:

Ayr Water Tower – 0.070 ug/L

Council Chambers Tap – <0.003 ug/L

Samples were again taken on 26 February 2019 with the following results:

Ayr Water Tower – 0.048 ug/L

Council Chambers Tap – 0.018 ug/L

Status for all PFHxS/PFOS – completed pending close out Due to hazard and safety concerns with access to the Council Chambers Tap, this location has been changed to the Council Chambers Bore 15 Reticulation site which is in close proximity to the previous location but in a safer area.

August 26 2019 Ayr (Queensland)

Aug 26, 2019 – Elevated levels of PFAS have been detected in an external tap adjacent to the Ayr Fire Station, just over a year since an Ayr borefield was shut down…

“While a preliminary result showed slightly elevated levels of PFAS in the water from a single external tap at the Ayr Fire Station, follow-up testing confirmed all drinking water taps at the station were under the national drinking water guidelines for PFAS.” https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/pollution/management/disasters/investigation-pfas/sites/ayr

2018: After receiving a directive from the Department of Health advising drinking water service providers test their drinking water for PFAS as soon as practicable and after an internal risk assessment,

BSC commenced PFAS sampling with the 6 bores at Nelsons Borefield in Ayr.

Results for initial samples taken by Queensland Health on 29 March 2018 showed levels in all bores in Nelsons, South Ayr and Home Hill tested below the draft ADWG guideline limit of 0.07 ug/L total PFOS/PFAxS. Queensland Health decided to resample on 9 May 2018. Test results received on Friday 25th May showed Bores 2 and 5 Nelsons over the draft limits with results as


• Bore 2 – 0.22 ug/L

• Bore 5 – 0.18 ug/L

Bores 2 and 5 Nelsons were immediately turned off and tagged out within an hour of results being received

• The Mayor and Chief Executive Officer were informed in relation to test results and actions

• DNRME, the Water Supply Regulator was informed of the test results by phone at 3pm via the DWQI hotline and in writing by 5pm

• Resampling of all Nelsons zone area plus three reticulation locations South Ayr – Basin Tap, Council Chambers and Ayr Water Tower was performed on 28 May 2018. Bores 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 plus the three reticulation samples all returned results under the guideline value.

• Follow up sample results for PFOS/PFAxS as follows:

o 28/05/2018 – Nelsons Bore 2 – 0.43 ug/L

o 28/05/2018 – Nelsons Bore 5 – 0.03 ug/L

o Reticulation network samples on 7 June and 12 June 2018 returned results well below the guideline value.

o 14 June 2018 – Bore 2 Nelsons – 0.42 ug/L (standing) and 0.43 ug/L (running)

o 14 June 2018 – Bore 5 Nelsons – 0.029 ug/L (standing) and 0.066 ug/L (running)

Bores 2 and 5 Nelsons remain switched off and no longer in use. Council is investigating the installation of additional bores for the Ayr/Brandon network in areas with no PFAS detection.

Monitoring of PFAS is ongoing in both the BSC’s raw water and reticulation network. These samples will be added to the Verification Monitoring Schedule of the Council’s DWQMP.

Drinking Water Quality Management Plan

Annual Report 2017/18 Burdekin Shire Council

2018 May: Ayr (Queensland)

The Queensland Government is assisting the Burdekin Shire Council in response to the detection of perfluorinated substances in two groundwater bores that previously supplied part of Ayr’s town water network.

Water sampling undertaken by Queensland Health showed levels of PFAS above Australian drinking water quality guidelines in these two bores, in results received on 25 May 2018.

Burdekin Shire Council ceased sourcing water from the affected bores on the same day as the results were made available.

Council undertook further water testing, with results received on 30 May. It notified the Queensland Government that elevated PFAS levels remained in only one bore, and that the Ayr town water was within Australian drinking water quality guidelines, posing no immediate health risk to people.

Further water sampling is being conducted to better understand the situation.

The Department of Environment and Science is investigating to try to locate the initial source of the PFAS.